When I first became interested in photography, digital was not really a thing. I’m sure it existed somewhere, but it was not like it is now. I learned on film and spent many wonderful hours in my school’s darkroom. Watching an image I’d taken slowly appear on paper in front of me always blew my mind – the excitement of seeing if what you’d captured days earlier turned out the way you envisioned. It was magical and it never failed to amaze me. …Or maybe I was just high from the fumes. Either way, for film and I it was always true love.
Times change, technology changes, and now digital has taken over. Film has sort of become this lost art, and for a while, I’ve been wanting to get back to my roots. When I saw one of my favorite film photographers, Jonathan Canlas, was hosting one of his Film is Not Dead workshops just a few hours from me in Montauk, New York, I knew I had to be there.
The workshop was held at the end of April, and it was like summer camp for film. I stayed in a big house with seven other photographers, and we just geeked out on photography for four days. There is nothing more fun than spending time with people who are passionate about the same thing you are, and I had such a fantastic time.
We learned so much about film stocks – which ones work best in which lighting situations, pushing/pulling film, how to expose for each one – cameras, light meters, post production on film, business, and the importance of personal work. I left with a renewed love for film and so much more confidence in my own ability to shoot film and achieve the look I desire. It was an incredibly intense week, but it was BY FAR the best workshop I’ve ever spent money on, hands down. There wasn’t a lot of fluff – it was real, applicable stuff, and I immediately saw a difference in my work afterwards.
During FIND Montauk, we did several portrait sessions with real couples, and spent a lot of time shooting personal work as well. Over the next few weeks, I’ll finally be sharing the photographs I shot during the workshop, so keep an eye out.
2015 is going to be the year of film for me – both for personal work and with clients. (I’ll still be shooting digital, but I’ll be incorporating a lot more film.)